Tony Awards officials have decided that this year’s ceremony, the 74th annual event, will take place online this fall. For the moment, further details are unavailable. Earlier this year, presenters put the ceremony on hold due to the pandemic. This past March, it forced all Broadway theaters, — and most others — to close.
The annual Tonys ceremony recognizes excellence in live Broadway theater. The Tony Awards’ co-presenters are The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The Wing founded the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards in 1947.
The American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League originally scheduled this year’s ceremony for June 7 at Radio City Music Hall. But on March 25, about two weeks after Broadway shut down, League and Wing officials announced an indefinite delay.
When Broadway closed, 16 shows slated for the 2019-2020 season had not officially opened (the eligibility window was to end on April 23); of those 16 shows, half had yet to experience a single preview performance.
Altogether, 20 plays and musicals opened on Broadway during the shortened 2019-20 season. However, only the 18 shows that opened before Feb. 19 will be eligible for Tony Awards.
Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President & CEO of the American Theatre Wing, issued a prepared statement: “Though unprecedented events cut the 2019-2020 Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized. We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time. The show must go on, no matter what – and it will.”